Poole named new Sun assistant

Connecticut Sun head coach and general manager Curt Miller said Tuesday that he has his "Chris Dailey back."

Miller was referring to UConn's soon-to-be Hall of Fame assistant coach when he named Texas Tech assistant Brandi Poole as the Sun's new assistant on Tuesday. Poole worked with Miller for 13 seasons at Bowling Green and Indiana.

"She was an integral part of me building one of the best mid-major programs at Bowling Green and really put us in great position to build something special at Indiana," Miller said during a conference call.

Poole has been assistant coach/recruiting coordinator at Texas Tech since September of 2015. She will join the Sun after Tech's season ends.

"I am so grateful to be joining the Connecticut Sun," Poole said in a statement. "I look forward to being reunited on the bench with Curt. We have won a lot of games together and cut down a lot of nets. I believe in his championship locker room approach and in how he prepares his teams to be successful."

Poole replaces Nikki Collen, who coached the guards the past two seasons. She was named head coach of the Atlanta Dream.

Poole will team with current Sun assistant Steve Smith to work with the posts. Chris Koclanes, who has been the team's video & travel coordinator, and Miller will work with the guards.

"Brandi has a tremendous work ethic and is one of the best grinders I've been around," Miller said. "At our level, you have to multitask, and she's one of the best multitaskers I've been around."

Poole started her career as the director of operations for the WNBA's Portland Fire in 2000 and was an assistant at West Virginia from 2000-01. She worked with Miller at Bowling Green from 2001-12, and at Indiana from 2012-14.

Poole helped Miller win eight straight MAC regular-season titles, five MAC tournament championships and reach five NCAA tournaments at Bowling Green, which also became the only team in MAC history to advance to the Sweet 16.

Poole followed Miller to Indiana in 2012. The Hoosiers tied a school record with 21 wins during the 2013-14 season. Indiana had a program-record three postseason wins in the 2014 WNIT tournament. Miller resigned after that season due to health reasons.

Miller and Poole have remained tight and have been part of a group text of five since he left Indiana, but he never approached her about rejoining him due to her loyalty to Tech head coach Candi Whitaker. He instead interviewed other candidates.

Whitaker, however, was fired on New Year's Day.

"All of the sudden, the wheels started to turn," Miller said. "I didn't aggressively pursue (Brandi) and waited to see if Brandi would approach me, even though we group text every day.

"She's one of the best I've been around in building relationships with 14, 15 and 16 year olds during the recruiting process, and those relationships grew during their time together. … I think she's going to relate great to these pros."

• Miller said that post Chiney Ogwumike has been medically cleared for full activity. Ogwumike, the 2014 Rookie of the Year, sat out last season after needing surgery on her left Achilles on Nov. 30, 2016. ... Starters Shekinna Stricklen (wing) and Courtney Williams (guard), who were back in the states, have signed with teams in France and Turkey, respectively. They will join the Sun after their respective seasons end.



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